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City says it’s ‘turning a corner’ on affordable housing supply

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Housing Services proposing aggressive targets for new affordable housing

During the June 4 Committee of the Whole, Housing Manager Hope Lee, CAO Ron Taylor and Policy Planning Supervisor Leah Barrie provided an update to Council about the ongoing housing initiatives in Kawartha Lakes. The presentation included an overview of municipal, provincial and federal housing legislation and initiatives as well as a summary of how Kawartha Lakes will continue to grow affordable and attainable housing in the coming years.

“Affordable housing is essential to our municipality, and it’s important that Kawartha Lakes and Council continue to develop this sector,” said Ron Taylor, CAO of Kawartha Lakes.

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EOWC and eastern MPPs meet to talk social policy, services

in Municipal/Provincial by
The meeting was co-hosted by EOWC Chair Andy Letham (pictured) and MPP Todd Smith.

Members of the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus (EOWC) held a meeting with their provincial counterparts recently to discuss issues of interest for Eastern Ontario such as affordable housing, health care, emergency services and financial impacts on municipal service delivery.

The meeting, co-hosted by EOWC Chair Andy Letham and MPP Todd Smith (also Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade), is an annual gathering of Provincial MPPs and the heads of Council from across the region.

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Mayor talks ‘top 10 ways’ City is moving forward

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Images courtesy City of Kawartha Lakes.

At the recent mayoral luncheon in front of the Lindsay and District Chamber of Commerce, City of Kawartha Lakes Mayor Andy Letham laid out what he believes are the top 10 ways the City is moving forward to the assembled business leaders.

1 – Roads

“Roads are our number one issue and challenge,” says the mayor.

“We now spend $50 million a year on our 5,400 lane kilometres of road network. We spend 90 per cent more on roads than we did 10 years ago and 50 per cent more on winter control.”

Letham says 35 cents of every tax dollar brought in goes toward roads. The City of Toronto only allocates five cents of every tax dollar to roads, showing the challenge of maintaining this many roads in a single tier municipality with a small tax base.

“Roads are a challenge with the changing climate and we need to change the way we do business. Over the next few years, it will improve.”

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Housing program launched to support homeowners building secondary suites

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Housing Services proposing aggressive targets for new affordable housing

Housing Help has launched its 2019 Secondary Suite Program, which will help homeowners in Kawartha Lakes and the County of Haliburton develop a private unit within an existing house. To apply before the deadline of July 5, 2019, visit the Housing Help website.

“The Secondary Suite Program is a great way for Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton residents to support seniors or other small households looking for housing accommodations, to increase rental housing options in the area,” said Hope Lee, Manager of Human Services-Housing. “Secondary Suite gives flexibility to residents looking to make their housing options more affordable.”

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Fenelon Falls’ downtown undergoing major facelift

in Around Town/Business/Community/Municipal by
Photo courtesy City of Kawartha Lakes.

The Fenelon Falls main streetscape will get a facelift when recommendations from the 2016 Fenelon Falls Corridor Study of Lindsay Street and Colborne Streets (CKL 121) are implemented. And while the restructuring is intended to contribute to “traffic calming,” it may result in the opposite reaction from drivers looking for a spot to park.

Benches, waste receptacles, and tree plantings will freshen up the sidewalks, but the most noticeable change for residents and visitors will be a loss of seven parking spots on Colborne Street (the main thoroughfare) between Water Street and Bond Street.

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City loses $620,000 for licensed childcare in PC cuts; more kids for less staff expected

in Community/Municipal/Poverty Reduction/Provincial by

More than $620,000 in funding has been lost to the City of Kawartha Lakes for licensed childcare spaces due to cuts from the provincial PC government.

Within that pot, nearly $258,000 was for general allocation funding. This money is used for child care fee subsidies for low-income families and general operating costs.

The remaining amount, more than $360,000 is being eliminated through cost sharing changes. In what was once a 100 per cent boost from the Province, it is now a forced 80-20 cost-sharing agreement between Province and Municipality. This includes reductions in the administration allowances (from 10 per cent down to 5 per cent).

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Kawartha Lakes reviews long term plan for arenas

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At an evening Committee of the Whole meeting on May 9 at the Little Britain Arena and Community Centre, Council considered the long term plan for arena capital requirements.

Craig Shanks, Director of Community Services, recapped staff recommendations to Council that include $11.7 million of capital investment over the next 10 years. All costs have been included in the municipality’s long-term financial plan.

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Kawartha Lakes looking at new alternatives to reduce environmental footprint

in Environment/Municipal by
Kawartha Lakes looking at new alternatives to reduce environmental footprint
Councillor Kathleen Seymour-Fagan has proposed a possible Styrofoam ban.

A motion brought forward by Councillor Kathleen Seymour-Fagan to Committee of the Whole on May 7 proposed looking at a possible Styrofoam ban. The memo recommended that Kawartha Lakes staff conduct a study surrounding the feasibility of a ban and bring a report back to Council by the end of this year.

“It’s time that we do something. We can’t ban what’s coming in from external sources, such as online retailers, but we can ban what’s being used and sold directly in our municipality. It all ends up in the landfill,” commented Councillor Seymour-Fagan.

“I own a restaurant and there are options to ban Styrofoam. Part of our Strategic Plan is a healthy environment, and this is part of a healthy environment. It’s time we take a leadership role in change.”

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Kawartha Lakes unveils new strategy to improve way of doing business

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During the May 7 Committee of the Whole, Kawartha Lakes staff unveiled a new strategy to Council to improve the municipality’s way of doing business. The strategy, which was developed by the Office of Strategy Management (OSM), focuses on maximizing resources and investing in service and operations. The strategy also focuses on continuously improving our processes in order to focus on customer needs.

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Time to get moving on active transportation

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“With an aging population, increasing health care costs and an inactive population, the City of Kawartha Lakes needs to invest in environments that make being physically active the easy choice, while at the same time reducing the environmental footprint. CKL needs to adopt a longer-term vision for how our community is designed and the policies that direct new development.” (City of Kawartha Lakes Integrated Community Sustainability Plan Final Report, April 2014)

The Sustainability Plan was an inspirational document. It saw promoting and enabling active transportation — walking and cycling — as critically important, and called for a decreasing of our dependence on cars.

The preamble to the Active Communities section ends with a vision of transformation:  “Connecting communities through safe routes for walking and cycling to school, work and key community amenities . . . can become the way of life in CKL.”

But the Sustainability Plan was meant to be more than inspirational. It included a commitment to “move these words into action.” Around Active Transportation there were sets of actions laid out around four goals, each action given a priority and a timeline.

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